Kashmir news: Theresa Griffin, the Labour Party’s European Union parliamentarian, made it clear on Tuesday that the 27-member panel visiting Jammu and Kashmir does not speak for the European Parliament. Griffin, the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for North West England, said the EU group visiting Valley was not an official delegation. Like others, Theresa described the MEPs as those from far-right parties of different EU countries.
Commenting on the current situation, the UK’s EU MP demanded that the shutdown be ended and constitutional law be restored in Kashmir. The Narendra Modi government has faced sharp criticism for allowing the foreign group to take stock of the situation in the Valley. Almost the entire Opposition has slammed the BJP-led NDA government over this decision.
The National Conference termed the EU group’s visit as a PR exercise. The NC spokesperson said most of the visiting members belong to a particular ideology as widely reported in the media. He said the EU parliamentary panel was allowed at a time when the three former chief ministers continue to remain incarcerated for almost three months.
To be absolutely clear – the group of far-right MEPs currently visiting #Kashmir are not in any way an "official" delegation. They do not speak for the European Parliament. The shutdown in Kashmir must be ended and constitutional rule of law restored. https://t.co/e6bVILYm8a
— Theresa Griffin MEP (@TheresaMEP) October 29, 2019
The group of MEPs reached Kashmir on Tuesday, the first since August 5, the day when Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was scrapped. Reports said that most parts of the Valley, particularly Srinagar, the capital of the soon-to-be-erstwhile state, are shut in protest to express anger against the dilution of Article 370 and Article 35A. Incidents of stone-pelting were also reported in Srinagar.
Mehbooba Mufti, the detained former CM and Peoples Democratic Party chief, has been a vocal opponent of the Centre’s August 5 decision. She also criticized the EU group’s visit saying most of the members are affiliated to far-right and pro-fascist political parties.
Reports of stone pelting & massive shutdown in Srinagar today. Wondering what outcome GOI expected by sending a group of mostly right leaning Islamophobic EUMPs to Kashmir? Were you expecting nine million oppressed Kashmiris to lay out a red carpet for them?
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 29, 2019
Mehbooba, whose Twitter handle is being operated by her daughter Iltija Mufti, said that she wondered what outcome the government was expecting by allowing mostly right-leaning Islamophobic MEPs. She asked if the government was expecting, what she called, oppressed Kashmiris to give a red carpet welcome to the MPs’ panel.
Earlier this month, the government disallowed Chris Van Hollen, the US Senator, to visit Kashmir. The Democratic Party member wanted to see the situation first-hand but was denied permission. Congress senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaraman Yechury entered Kashmir only after the Supreme Court’s permission. The duo was asked not to make any political statements in Kashmir.